A senior nurse on duty during the delivery of baby Mark Molloy, who died in Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, said she was worried that a doctor was not giving staff instructions during a critical stage.
The nurse, a shift leader, told a fitness-to-practise inquiry “there wasn’t anything being said and no sign of a baby being delivered” despite mother Róisín Molloy being fully dilated at the time.
“I felt something should be happening at that stage,” the witness, who cannot be named, said.
“I didn’t see anything happening. I wasn’t given any instructions … I was concerned.”
The doctor, referred to as Dr A, stands accused of professional misconduct and poor professional performance at a Medical Council fitness-to-practise hearing.
The senior nurse said she arrived on duty at 8am on the morning of the delivery, January 24th, 2012.
She initially spoke with a midwife in the office who “appeared to me to be anxious” about the condition of Mrs Molloy, the inquiry was told.
When she went into the labour room there were two midwives already there and Dr A, who was performing an examination on Mrs Molloy.
The nurse said she waited until the examination was finished, but when she didn’t hear any instructions from the doctor, she suggested to him that a consultant be called in.
“At that stage you wanted something to be happening,” she said.
“There was nothing being said and I though there should be something happening here.”
Asked if Dr A responded to her suggestion, she added: “Yes , he said he would (call a consultant).”
The nurse said she left the room and returned a number of times over the next half an hour to check on other patients and attend to other matters.
After a while she heard a noise in the corridor and went to see what was happening. Mrs Molloy was in the corridor and was being taken to the theatre by the two midwives.
She did not recall Dr A having any involvement at that stage.
Mrs Molloy and her husband Mark were told their baby boy was stillborn but later found out he had been born alive and died about 22 minutes after unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate him.
Official records, obtained by the Molloys using freedom of information laws, showed their baby’s death was recorded as stillborn.
The coroner was also notified it had been a stillbirth, but an inquest ultimately recorded death due to medical misadventure and a neonatal death.
Dr A allegedly failed to review the cardiotocograph (CTG) adequately and failed to correctly interpret it as being abnormal.
It is also alleged he retrospectively amended a CTG note from satisfactory to unsatisfactory, inappropriately prescribed medication and failed to consult the consultant on call in a timely manner. He has rejected the majority of the allegations.
The hearing continues.
© The Irish Times